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I'm curious what specific brand ingredients do you use most frequently? Why?

Example, when the recipe calls for salt...I use Morton Coarse Kosher Salt. I crush it with my fingertips till it smokes a little bit.

For Apple Cider Vinegar...I swear by Bragg's Organic ACV. A little less tart and smoother than the cheap-stuff.

If I need some cayenne...Spice Island Cayenne is the only one for me. Not just heat but nice taste too.

Paprika? McCormicks Gourmet Selection Paprika taste best to me (expensive though).

Ketchup? Red Gold (hard to find) or Hunts.

Mustard? French's for all around use. I love Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard on a ham and swiss with pumpernickel.

Mayo? Hellman's for me.

Pickles? You haven't lived until you tried Tony Packo Pickles from Toledo, OH (Sweet or Hot).

Some brands just taste better to me. I'm curious to learn some of your little taste secrets, so get me in the mood to eat some good stuff......
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Quality ingredients rarely hurt the finished product,most good cooks agree.

That said,many find that the more ingredients applied,the less individual taste you may receive.

Also ,a twenty hour cook,with a heavy load of hickory,may negate fresh ingredients,altogether.

It may also do a good job of masking dried herbs and spices.

One other thought,among cooks,is we may spend more time focused on the best,or secret ingredient,while we should be learning to cook the product correctly.

That is usualy 95% of our success.

Just a couple thoughts.
One of the difficulties of a topic like this is that although some of the products named are national brands many are regional. For rxaple, I've been listening to the food network recommend San Marzano canned tomatoes for years yet I've never seen a San Marzanno tomato out here in the boonies.

The other side of the coin is that it's good in that it gets us all talking about spices and new ideas can spring forth. I was especially interested in the comments by Tom and Redoak that when it comes to spices sometimes less is more. The farther I get into cooking BBQ the more I see the truth in that. I now spend more time perfecting the process and less on concocting spice combinations.

Just another $.o2 worth.
readoakNC: Make sure to chill the Packo pickles in the fridge overnight before eating. Makes'em crisper.

TaktEZ: I say don't be afraid to name a regional brand. Can't hurt any and it may just pop up someday, plus some of us travel too. I always liked stopping in the grocery stores of places far from home to see what the locals eat. Like boiled peanuts in Georgia....

Less may be more, but most still use some product on their BBQ. Mike Mills once talked about exact brands he used in his Magic Dust.
Mike ,as many writers do- to get you to feel they are divulging all,will share names.

He was a fine cook and could beat most of his competition,at that time,using salt,pepper,and a squirt of cider vinegar.

If you talk to him,he'll stress to learn to cook,and that other five per cent of his technique will somehow follow along.

Other great comp cooks will put stuff on their product that would scare us to eat.

If you ask,their comment is "I ain't gonna eat it,it's just for the judges".

Just a thought.
Mmm, Packo's! One of my former employers was about a half-mile from Tony Packo's, but I didn't go there for lunch during the week all that much. I usually took the family on a Saturday afternoon and the young boy got to enjoy the magic show (besides seeing his dad make his food disappear). There was a good neighborhood bakery down the street. Now that I'm in NC I miss the bakery from that area, though my waistline doesn't need it. I was just thinking about those delicacies the other day, since we just passed the time of paczkis.

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